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Federal Reserve Notes

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Federal Reserve notes are the notes we today are used to see, the notes we think of when we say "dollars". These notes are issued by the Federal Reserve system, the national bank of the United States. They are fiduciary (or "fiat") money, i.e. they have value due to our belief in the ability of the Federal Reserve to assure that we can buy things for them, or pay our taxes with them.

Federal Reserve notes were authorized by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and have been issued since 1914. Today, they are the only kind of notes being issued by the US.

Federal Reserve notes are distinguished by bearing a green seal of the Tresaury of the US, and having green note numbers.

The first small-size Federal Reserve notes bore a clause to the effect that they could be redeemed for gold, this clause was later removed. It is a popular misconception that these earlier issues were Gold Certificates, they were not (but are often marketed as such).

Federal Reserve notes are no longer redeemable for anything, but they are legal tender in the US. This means they can be used to pay any debt, and that the lender cannot refuse accepting payment in such notes.

Federal Reserve Bank Notes

The Federal Reserve Bank notes were notes issued by the individual Federal Reserve Banks, with the individual Federal Reserve Bank having the obligation to redeem the notes. The notes were secured by deposits of US bonds with the US treasury.

Such notes bear a brown seal of the Treasury of the US, the serial numbers are also brown..

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